Answer me this Batman - Am I on track for Retirement?

It's National Superhero Day! So which of our heroic friends could best help us answer the question: Am I on track for Retirement? I'm going with Batman. He almost always has the answer.

Determining if you are on track for retirement and then determining if you can actually retire perplexes many Americans. UFC star Conor McGregor had a very rocky retirement, retiring last week at age 27 and then two days later, UN-retiring.


It's also true that some people want a really short answer just to check in and some people want a really in-depth answer for hard core planning.

Realistically, you do in fact need to do some in-depth planning -- particularly around future income needs and your ability and willingness to take risk -- to really understand your situation.

However, that’s not to say that quicker and more “rule of thumb” approaches can’t provide you some insight. Simple can be elegant, as we've seen in prior posts -- "UFC Star Conor McGregor retires at 27. Can you?" and "Why her co-workers couldn't stop staring at her 401(k) statement!"

But let’s say you’re super impatient and you want me to answer, “Am I on track for retirement?”

If can only ask you one question, what would it be?

I would ask you:

  1.  “What does your gut tell you?”

Beyond the science around our ability to generally sense and estimate complicated matters, you’ve probably thought about retirement more than you think and who knows your holistic financial situation better than you? If you sense that you could be doing better or feel like there are other steps you should be taking, both are likely the case.

OK. Fine. That was clever. So let’s say that you’re only mildly impatient and you want me to answer: “Am I on track for retirement” and I can only ask you two questions, what would they be?

If I could only ask you two questions, I would ask you:

  1. How old are you?
  2. How much have you saved so far?

Then I'd suggest you to compare where you stand to this chart:

This approach is a little crude and doesn’t take some variables into account, but it does rather simply encompass many important aspects of retirement planning including the fact that it’s going to be crazy difficult to retire if you don’t start early.

Not bad. Please tell me that the next level of insight isn't 326 questions. Because the last time I went into an on-line retirement planning tool, it was a diabolical black hole. Good news! No, no diabolical black hole here.

So let’s say you’re willing to answer five questions to get an answer to:  “Am I on track for retirement?” What would they be?

  1. How old are you?
  2. How much have you saved?
  3. How much do you save for retirement every month?
  4. Are you a net saver (two questions technically - your annual income and your annual expenses)

And voilà, no Batman tool belt needed here – and guess what? We've already built the tool! You can answer those 5 questions in this quick wizard and see where you stand.


Feel free to reach out with any questions or if you’d like help interpreting the results.


- Investing and investment management involves risk, including the loss of your initial investment or any investment gains.

- Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

- This generic information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be construed as a recommendation for any individual to take a specific action.

- Please invest prudently and seek professional help from a financial advisor, investment manager, accountant, lawyer or other professional on matters that you are unsure of or that are unique to your personal circumstances.

- Financial Advisor and Investment Management Services provided by J. Bradford Investment Management, Nashua NH.